Plain, normal Brittany has always lived in the shadows of her beautiful, popular friend Amanda. Amanda has a new boyfriend every week. Brittany doesn’t date. Amanda is the star of the school musical; Brittany watches from behind her cello in the orchestra pit.

But then, the hot lead in the play starts showing an interest in Brittany—and not because she’s Amanda’s best friend.

At the same time, Amanda and Brittany both get threatening anonymous letters. Brittany doesn’t know what to do: a guy likes her, and she and Amanda are in danger. Has the world gone insane?

Kristen Landon’s first novel, “Life in the Pit” about the production of a high school musical is a fun mystery for any age. The book states it is geared for readers 13 and up, but I’d pass this along to any of my adult friends and sisters as well. The characters are well developed, the mystery clues well placed, and the tension just right for a YA novel. It held my interest to the very end.

I love the voice of the main character, Brittany. This paragraph, for example:

“I couldn’t believe it. Amanda just received two of the most fabulous kisses imaginable—first hand, I might add—and now acted as if it were nothing. Acting. Maybe that was the problem. The kisses were part of the play. Enter stage left; cross to front center; kiss a beautiful guy.”

I’m sure nearly every girl who has ever been in high school can relate to Brittany, or knows someone like Amanda—and liked her anyway. Published by Blooming Tree Press, this book is 248 pages and available at